There are important differences between munches. What you experience will depend a lot on the character, traditions, and policies of the particular group that is meeting. (In some areas, multiple munches happen for just this reason.)
- Some munches are strictly vanilla, meaning that even mild fetish clothing is discouraged, or even forbidden. This is generally because the venue is shared with members of the general public and/or because members of the munch are concerned about being “outed” to the local community. This is especially likely in small towns.
- Many munches do not allow play to happen on site. This may also mean that you shouldn’t bring that new flogger you just bought to show off to your friends and you should keep your big knife at home. This is generally because of the choice of venue, but also to make newer people feel more comfortable. If your munch has such a policy, please respect it.
- Most munches take place at restaurants and discourage drinking as a part of the event. This is again because of concern over behavior that sometimes happen when too much alcohol gets consumed.
- That said, there are other munches that operate wholly differently. There are munches that take place in bars, where there is play afterwards or even in a separate area, or where everyone arrives in fetish gear, etc… Many of these stretch or even run contrary to the basic definition of “munch” and some blur the lines with play events, classes, workshops, etc…
- You have a right to choose to attend or not attend based on your comfort levels. You do not have to partake in any activity you don’t want to, and if something bothers you, you have a right to leave.
- Some munches have a general business meeting at the start, or indeed throughout the event. There may be a seating arrangement for this, and it may pay to get their early so you can choose who you are next to throughout the event. Expect to hear a lot of talk about upcoming events, local issues in the scene, and announcements about weddings, sick members, leather titles and awards, and fundraisers.
- Some munches are very formal in how people are introduced, and have a “stand up and tell us about yourself” segment (I hate this stuff, and usually am off to the bathroom if I am stuck at one of these.)
- Other munches are very informal, or have no such meeting, so people are on their own to make introductions or find others to talk to. This can be good or bad. (In which case, I am usually trapped by a loud fellow who goes on and on about the chainmail armor he is making for the other social group he is in…)
- Some munches are offered on weeknights, others on weekends (more often in the afternoon). Usually it is a regular monthly thing, but some are weekly. I have never been able to find a good Thursday morning group, but who knows?
- Aggressively cruising for partners is usually considered very rude behavior, and at many munches is a good way to get kicked out. But again, there are a few where such is welcome or encouraged.
- Many munches have a discussion group on FetLife, where they post rules, times, contact info, etc… and where you can get a good sense of their character before you attend.
From the discussion, What Happens at a munch, comment by BadMouseM
[…] guide to BDSM Munches, by Jay Wiseman What’s a Munch? a Social? a Slosh? a POS?, by caryl Differences between munches, from a discussion on Novices & Newbies, post by BadMouseM Why Everyone Says Come Out to a […]